Tuesday, May 22, 2012

How Reading and Writing Feed Off Each Other


Reading is a vital part of any writer’s work. It is not enough to browse through websites, keep up with current events, thumb through magazines and research topics, however. Reading is one of many things meant to inspire the author of any manuscript or article.

Reading and writing go together. Just as when a writer reads something, which inspires new writing, authors also promote new learning (reading) from the work they produce. Just last night, I picked up an old book that has been sitting on my shelf for years titled, The Berlin Diary. I’m familiar with World War II. I’ve researched and written a few articles about it. However, that article I wrote the other day on Janusz Korczak inspired me to read about WWII from a different perspective. I chose journalist William L. Shirer’s book, which shares his first-hand account of events as they unfolded while he was on assignment.

The Berlin Diary is a fairly long book – over 600 pages. I’m barely into the first few, and already I’ve learned something new about Hitler. I imagine I’ll discover more heroes (like Korczak) from this time period to write about, practice controlling my temper as I read about people blindly following some lunatic, while wondering how such a thing could ever happen in the first place. These feelings are nothing new, yet I’m sure they are capable of producing a wealth of essays from me about more than a few subjects.

Personally, I believe writer’s block might well be a myth. If you want to avoid it, write – period. If you’re not sure what to write about, read. Let the two activities feed off one another, and writer’s block will be a non-issue.....

Ooorrrr, it could be......

.........a nice way of stating you’re dealing with a little to much head trash on any give day, and a politically correct way of saying you have a few other things you need to be doing, besides sitting at your computer and writing all day.

As always, please share your thoughts in the comments. Thank you!

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